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Lief

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There is no denying that Deltora can be dangerous for the unwary or ill-informed!

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Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.

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Liefanime
Lief
Biographical information
Alternative name(s)

Twig (during Rithmere Games)
Lewin of Broome (during the companions' stay with the Masked Ones in Shadowgate

Cherry (during Rithmere Games, anime only)

Tribe

Del

Home

Palace of Del

Age

16 in Deltora Quest
17 in Deltora Quest 2
18 in Deltora Quest 3
30s-40s in Star of Deltora

Predecessor

Endon (as Monarch of Deltora)

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Male

Hair color

Dark brown (books)
Blonde (anime)

Skin color

White

Personal information
Relatives

Lilia (great-grandmother)
Alton (grandfather)
Endon (father)
Sharn (mother)
Jasmine (wife)
Doom (father-in-law)
Anna (mother-in-law)
Anna II (daughter)
Endon II (son)
Jarred II (son)

Love interest(s)

Jasmine (wife)

Allies

Jasmine
Barda

Enemies

The Shadow Lord

Weapon of choice

Broadsword

Chronological and political information
Profession

King

Position

Heir to the throne (formerly)
King of Deltora

Affiliation

The royal family

First appearance

The Forests of Silence

Last appearance

The Hungry Isle

Voiced by

Ryōsuke Sakamaki (坂巻亮祐) (Japanese)
Cole Howard (English)

Lief is the current ruling king of Deltora and the husband of Jasmine. He is the son of King Endon and Queen Sharn. Lief grew up in Del, in Topaz territory and is from the Del tribe.

Along with his companions Jasmine and Barda, Lief has gone on a number of quests to save Deltora and its people from the grasp of the Shadow Lord, such as restoring the gems of the Belt of Deltora, finding the three lost parts of the fabled Pirran Pipe, and reviving the last of Deltora's dragons to destroy the Four Sisters.

History

Early life

Sharn was pregnant with Lief toward the end of Endon's reign. He was born at the end of summer following the Shadow Lord's takeover of Deltora. In order to keep Lief's identity a secret, his parents disguised themselves as the blacksmith Jarred and his wife Anna, whom they had switched place with after the Shadow Lord invaded Deltora and stole the gems from the Belt of Deltora.

Lief was taught many skills by his parents during his childhood. He learned math and reading by his mother, and his father taught him to fight with a sword and work their family forge. Lief was also told to study the history of Deltora and memorise entire passages from the book The Belt of Deltora. This was done so that he would not make the same mistakes as the previous kings and queens.

Lief made many friends among the youth of Del, and through his exploits with them, he learned of life before the Shadow Lord's rule. Like most people in the city, he grew up resenting the kings of Deltora for becoming so lazy and neglectful that they allowed their land to fall into the Shadow Lord's clutches. When his friends believed the last king, Endon, was dead, Lief supported the idea, thinking that death was a fitting punishment for the ruin he brought to his country.[1]

The Forests of Silence

On Lief's sixteenth birthday, his parents let him take a day off from work and spend time with his friends in the city. They also told him that he would receive another gift when he returned. After meeting with his friends, they headed close to the palace walls and discovered an old apple tree covered with fruit. All fruits in Del were the property of the Shadow Lord, but since this tree had been forgotten, they picked some fruit and went into the drain-tunnel under the city to eat them in secret.

An hour before sunset, Lief's friends left. He stayed to explore the drain-tunnels and discovered a small tunnel branching off the main, which he thought lead to the palace. He crawled through the tunnel as far as he dared, then turned back, promising to follow it another day.

When he finally left the tunnels, night had fallen, which mean that the Shadow Lord's curfew was in effect, and anyone caught outside after dark would be killed on sight. Two Grey Guards, the Shadow Lord's enforcers, nearly spotted Lief on his way home, but they were distracted by a sound further off. Once they had left, a rope appeared out of nowhere , which Lief used to scale a wall. There were no sign of who left the rope, but Lief believed that it was the same person who had distracted the Grey Guards.

Shadow lord brand

The brand of the Shadow Lord.

On the other side of the wall, Lief found that he was in the backyard of what had been Del's biggest pottery, but was now a ruin after a group here had planned to overthrow the Shadow Lord. He quickly returned home, and to his surprise, instead of scolding him, his parents sat him down and told him the story of how Deltora had fallen to the Shadow Lord.

Lief's father told Lief that he had been friends with King Endon during his childhood and had lived at the palace. He told his son of the night the Shadow Lord invaded Deltora and shattered the Belt of Deltora before sending its seven Ak-Baba to spread them to the most dangerous places in the kingdom. He also explained that the king and queen of Deltora were still alive, as was the heir. To prove it, he cut open his leather work-belt, which housed the now repaired Belt of Deltora. Since the Belt was so tied to Adin's bloodline, if it should end, the Belt would have crumbled to pieces.

Until Lief was ten his father had thought he who would be the one to search for the gems, but his leg had been injured by a fallen tree, so the task now fell to Lief. He accepted the quest, and was told by his father to wear the Belt of Deltora always until it was complete with the seven gems. Lief's father also provided him with a map to the locations of the seven gems.
Deltora map

Hand-drawn map of Deltora.

Lief asked his father where the heir was hiding but he could not tell him, since the heir would be powerless without the Belt and had to remain in hiding until it was complete. He told Lief that, when all the gems were in place, the Belt would lead Lief to the heir.

For his birthday gift to Lief, his father gave him the finest sword that he had crafted. His mother gave him a woven cloak which changed colours when it moved so that it was hard to tell if it was brown, grey, or green. Finally, Lief was told that he would have a companion on his quest: Barda, the local beggar. Lief was dismayed at this news until he learned that Barda, once a palace guard, was only posing as a beggar to gain information from careless Grey Guards and to hide himself behind an effective disguise. Barda had also been protecting Lief for many years without Lief’s knowledge and had been the one to save Lief’s life earlier that same night from the Grey Guards.

Beware

Wenn Del signpost.

Barda suggested that they move east, to the Forests of Silence since the Grey Guards did not go near them, because of the losses they had suffered. They left Del that night and within a few days arrived at the Wenn Del path. Lief found a signpost on the ground with the words "BEWARE" written in black letters across the wood. Despite the warning, the duo traveled through Wenn Del. As they walked, Lief spotted red eyes watching them from the woods. Before he and Barda could defend themselves, they were stunned by a high pitched sound.

They woke the next day in a clearing inside the Forests of Silence, their bodies paralysed. A girl the same age as Lief, accompanied by a raven and a furry animal, jumped down from the trees and casually explained that the Wenn had brought them there as an offering for the Wennbar, a monster that they worship. Afterwards, she took Lief's cloak. He demanded it back, saying it was a preasent from his mother, but the girl, named Jasmine, did not believe him, since only Grey Guards took the Wenn Del path. Before Lief and Barda could convince her, her raven, Kree, called out in warning, and Jasmine fled.

She returned at sunset and made Lief and Barda drink the contents of a tiny bottle. Their bodies burned with pain, but they found themselves able to move again. Lief and Barda followed Jasmine into the trees, and she explained that the Wennbar was coming for them. It soon arrived and attacked the three, but they had climbed too high for it, even with its neck fully extended. When a cold wind started blowing, Lief tossed his cloak around the three of them, and to their amazement, the colours shifted to blend them into their surroundings. With its prey gone, the Wennbar roared and ate two Wenn before returning to its cave.

Barda thought that the Wennbar’s cave was the place they were seeking, but Jasmine convinced them that there was nothing but bones in it. She led them to her home — a nest of sorts in a high tree. Inside she brought them food and water. She also told them that she knew where they were most likely headed, and was willing to take them, but she did not suspect they would survive.

At dawn the three arrived at the centre of Mid Wood: a dome made of vines called The Dark. Lief thanked Jasmine and he and Barda climbed down to the ground, leaving her behind. The Belt grew warm as they approached, which told Lief that there was a gem nearby. Inside The Dark stood a hulking figure clad in golden armour. The Guardian said his name was Gorl. On the hilt of his sword was the Topaz, one of the seven gems. Lief pointed out that they were two against one, but Gorl heard him and raised a hand, and both Lief and Barda were pulled forward by an invisible force.

Lilies of life mcbride cropped

The Lilies of Life blooming.

In the middle of The Dark was a patch of mud where three glimmering, golden flower buds rose. They were the Lilies of Life which gave eternal life to whoever drank their nectar. Gorl thought Lief and Barda had come to steal them. He brought Lief and Barda into the circle so their blood could feed his vines. Barda distracted Gorl by expressing that the knight fought without honour, and that he could not have come here alone. Gorl said that he had come with his two brothers, but had had to kill them in their fight over the Lilies of Life. The memory made Gorl lose focus and release Lief and Barda. As he reminisced about his past, Barda stabbed him through the neck, but Gorl effortlessly removed the blade and stabbed Barda in the chest. Before he could kill Lief, Jasmine distracted Gorl and cut at his vines. When Gorl tried to stop her, Jasmine released the vines around a large tree branch, crushing Gorl beneath it.

Lief ran to Barda but found that he was dying. The hole the falling branch had made allowed sunlight through the net of vines and made the Lilies of Life bloom. Lief collected their nectar in his hands and used it to heal Barda's injuries. Lief thanked Jasmine for saving their lives, but Jasmine gave credit to the tree that crushed Gorl, and Lief who saved Barda.

As she collected the last of the nectar, Lief picked up Gorl's sword and removed the Topaz from it. He let Jasmine hold the gem, which allowed the spirit of Jasmine's mother to appear. Her mother told her that Lief and Barda were on a quest to free Deltora from the Shadow Lord, and that she must go with them, before returning to the afterlife. Jasmine was saddened at the news that her mother was dead. She asked Lief and Barda if they would let her join their quest, and they both accepted the offer.

Lief removed the Belt of Deltora and added the Topaz into the first of the medallions. He wanted to celebrate by ridding the trees of the vines, but word had spread throughout the Forests that The Dark was no more and birds and other gnawing creatures had already come to remove the vines.[1]

The Lake of Tears

A couple of days into their second destination, Lief, Barda and Jasmine reached a bridge with a golden-eyed man holding a curved sword blocking their path. Due to a curse placed on him by the sorceress Thaegan forced the trio to answer three questions before they could come across. If they answered correctly, they would be allowed to cross, however if their answers were wrong, he would have to kill them. Jasmine and Barda answered correctly and crossed to the other side. Lief's answer, however, were wrong (due to lack of information). As a result, the man claimed that he must die.

Alarmed, Lief claimed that the man was a trickster and deceiver and that he was not surprised that he was doomed to guard the bridge until truth and lies were one. Angered, the giant decided to play another game: deciding which way Lief would die. Lief had to say only one sentence; if it was true the giant would strangle him, if it is false he would cut off his head. Lief pressed his hand against the Topaz which cleared his mind and an idea came to him. He answered "My head will be cut off." Since the answer was both a lie and a truth, Lief could not be killed and the man was returned to his original form, a bird. The bridge started crumbling, and in a desperate attempt, Lief ran across it. Before he could fall to his death, the bird saved him to repay its debt.

Not long afterwards, Jasmine heard a pod of Grey Guards approaching. The companions hid in a tree, but to their dismay, the guards chose the clearing to be their resting area. With the Guards was a captive Ralad.

Soon, the Guards fell asleep and the companions saved the Ralad. The guards woke up and chased after them, but they escaped by hiding among sweetplumb bushes. The Guards gave up on searching for them and laughed as they walked away. Jasmine and Barda tried to remove the Ralad's chains while Lief searched for food and firewood. During his search, he found a broken sign that read, "RING AND ENTER," with a bell hanging from it. He noticed a cheery little house and notified Barda and Jasmine. The three rang the bell, and ran towards the house. However, the lawn that they ran on was actually quicksand.

Warning quicksand

Warning sign.

Thanks to a large piece of wood Lief had found, the companions managed to stay buoyant long enough for an elderly couple who lived in the house to rescue them. After being saved, Lief discovered that the piece of wood that saved them read, "WARNING! OF QUICK DO NOT". Pieced together with the sign, the message spelled: "WARNING! RING OF QUICKSAND DO NOT ENTER"

Barda and Jasmine were suspicious over this, however Lief took no notice, thankful for the couple for saving him. They introduced themselves as Nij and Doj. Though the companions could not understand their dialect, they were thankful and happily took up their invitation to stay in the house. Jasmine was less comfortable being inside a house, and asked Lief whether the Belt of Deltora was still on his waist. After making sure, he started to clean the mud off of the Topaz. Nij and Doj came back in with food and drink, but instead of talking in their usual dialect, Lief heard many disturbing things. He realised that touching the Topaz had cleared his mind to the home's illusion, and quickly warned Bard and Jasmine. However, Barda had already taken a sip of the drink, which was drugged to make him lethargic.

The Topaz revealed Nij and Doj's names to be Jin and Jod, two of Thaegan's children. He made Barda and Jasmine touch the gem as well, and the three of them pretended to be asleep when Jin came to inspect them. Just then the bell rang again, and Jin and Jod left the house to gather another victim. Lief, Barda, and Jasmine used the distraction to escape. However, the ring of quicksand kept them trapped near the house. Lief deduced that the monsters had to leave their house at some point to meet their mother, and when he found a collection of leaves with strange symbols, he realised that there were stepping stones hidden among them.

Leaves

The leaves in the quicksand.

Just then the Ralad man ran out of the house, being pursued by the monsters. Lief noticed that his legs were dirty while the rest of his body was clean. He realised that the quicksand in between the leaves concealed the stepping stones, and informed Barda and Jasmine. With the monsters in quick pursuit, Jasmine stopped to switch two of the leaves to hide the stones, but Jin threw an axe at her shoulder. Lief and Barda used Lief's cloak to drag Jasmine out of the quicksand, but the monsters quickly caught up to them. Just then, Kree swooped in to distract them and was seriously injured. Jin and Jod followed the companions into the quicksand, but due to Jasmine switching the leaves they stepped on the wrong spot and drowned.
Resistance mark

The mark of the Resistance.

Jasmine then healed Kree with nectar from the Lilies of Life and had Lief heal her shoulder with her green salve. The Ralad man, named Manus, used Ralad symbols to explain the history of how Thaegan created the Lake of Tears from the city of D'Or, and stole the voices of the Ralads when they spoke against her. Manus agreed to take the trio to the Ralad's city of Raladin on their way to the Lake of Tears. Along the way they found several abandoned buildings, which they searched for supplies. Lief felt uneasy about taking things that did not belong to them, but Manus pointed to a mark scratched on the wall beside a window, the Ralad sign for freedom and bird, which had become the secret signal used by a resistance group fighting against the Shadow Lord.

By the third day they arrived at a waterfall that acted as the hidden entrance to Raladin. However, the four of them found Raladin sacked and deserted with the Shadow Lord's brand on the buildings. Grief-stricken and believing his people were lost, Manus withdrew a flute and started playing it, which summoned the people of Raladin. They had built an underground city just beneath Raladin, to hide from Thaegan and the Shadow Lord. Lief, Barda and Jasmine were offered the chance to rest in the city, and three days later they continued their quest with Manus to show the way to the Lake of Tears, despite the reluctance of the Ralad people.

When they reached the Lake of Tears, they found that it was guarded by a giant lake monster, Soldeen. The four companions were almost killed until Lief threw two of their supply packs into Soldeen's mouth. The companions spent the night on the rocks near the Lake under the full moon. As they debated on how to retrieve the gem, Lief begged Manus to play his flute to help them combat the sadness and despair of the lake. His music worked in brightening the companion's spirits, but it also caught the attention of Soldeen.

Soldeen asked the three what they were doing at the Lake, and Lief told him that they were searching for a special gem that was dropped into the Lake sixteen years ago. Soldeen revealed that he had the gem, but he refused to give it up without getting something in return. He named the Ralad man as his price, saying that his music comforted him.

Lief, Barda and Jasmine refused to give up the Ralad man to Soldeen, although Manus was willing. enraged, Soldeen lunged towards the companions. Lief's cloak was caught on one of the serpent's spines and nearly choked him to death, but he managed to twist free and press his sword against Soldeen's eye. This pressed the Topaz to Soldeen's skin, and its mind-clearing powers allowed Soldeen to remember his past life.

Lief persuaded Soldeen to show him where the gem that they were looking for was hidden, and he obeyed, allowing Lief to ride him into the Lake. He took Lief to the weeping stone — a rock shaped like a crying woman — with a pink gemstone in her hands. Lief was puzzled, since he did not remember any of the gems of the Belt of Deltora as being pink, but he soon realised it was the great Ruby, which pales in the presence of evil and misfortune. Before Lief could warn Soldeen, the sorceress Thaegan descended from the sky and struck Soldeen with her magic. Lief was thrown sideways and dropped the Ruby down a deep crack in the weeping rock.

Thaegan raised her hand in order to turn the companions into creatures of the Lake, but Kree managed to strike her finger — the only part of her body not protected by magic — and drew blood. Since drawing blood kills a witch, Thaegan turned into dust, and her curse on the Lake was lifted. Soldeen was turned back into his original form, a man named Nanion. The weeping rock split open to reveal his wife Ethena, who was holding the Ruby. The Lake changed back into the great city of D'Or, and everywhere the creatures of the Lake were transformed into its citizens. By lifting the curse the companions had also given the Ralads, including Manus, back the ability to talk, and he thanked them. Ethena and Nanion gave Lief the Ruby, which he placed beside the Topaz on the Belt of Deltora. Nanion asked the three to stay in D'Or for a while, however Lief said that they were expected in Raladin.[2]

City of the Rats

Image-31

The signpost pointing towards Tom's shop.

Lief, Barda and Jasmine spent the next two days celebrating in Raladin before continuing on their quest. By afternoon they arrived on a thorn-covered pathway and encountered a sign promoting Tom's shop. When Jasmine seemed puzzled by the concept of a shop, Lief explained to her that they were places of buying and selling what people could not make for themselves.

By nightfall, Jasmine heard a large group following the companions. Lief thought they should stay and fight but Barda argued that it would be foolish to try on a road hemmed in by thorns, so they moved on and tried to find a better place. After the companions passed a dead tree, their pursuers began to speed up. Jasmine suspected that they were wolves, but Lief was unsure due to their tactics. The companions lit torches to defend themselves.

The eleven wolves cornered them by another tree. Before the companions could defend themselves, they were hoisted up into a net trap. The wolves then transformed into the remainder of Thaegan's children and used the companions' torches to light a fire beneath them. Filli slipped out of the net and began to chew through it. The monsters were too busy arguing among themselves over how to divide up the companions to notice FIlli. Lief used their squabbling to trick them into fighting among themselves by saying that thirteen could not divide three evenly. This resulted in a bloody battle where only the strongest of the monsters, Ichabod, was left alive. By this point Filli and Kree had eaten through the net, and Jasmine kicked Ichabod into the fire. As he was blinded by pain and rage, the companions gathered their belongings and quickly escaped from Thaegan's territory, where Ichabod would not follow them.
Tom shop sign

The sign on the roof of Tom's shop.

In the morning the companions reached Tom's shop. It was a small building with no prices on any of the merchandise. Two signs read "Free gift for every customer" and "Travellers! Choose carefully. No exchanges. No refunds. No regrets."

Barda called Tom a trusting person, saying it would be easy to steal what they wanted without being seen. To prove this, he tried to take a lantern from the shelf, only to find he could not lift it or remove his hand. Tom appeared and asked if Barda was interested in buying the lantern. He put a finger below the counter, releasing Barda's hand. Tom then showed Lief and Barda his various items, resulting in them buying a self-coiling rope, a pack of instant bread called "No Bakes," a jar of powder that cleans water called "Pure and Clear", and cushioned socks for sore feet. As they browsed, Jasmine left the shop to wait outside.

Just as Lief and Barda finished their shopping, a scar-faced man entered the shop. He drew the symbol of the Resistance in the dust on the counter and got a discount on self-coiling rope. As he wiped the symbol away, he told Tom that the sorceress Thaegan was dead. Lief also overheard the man talking with Tom about how the royal family was responsible for the land's ruin. After the man left, Tom recognised that Lief and Barda understood the Resistance mark and gave them a jar of fire beads and a pipe that blew bubbles of light, free of charge. Lief asked for the free gift and received a flat tin box labelled "Water Eaters."
Water eaters label

The label on the box of Water Eaters.

Hearing a sound, Tom left quickly through the back door. Lief and Barda followed him and saw Jasmine in a pen with three white horses. Lief asked Tom if they could buy the horses by returning all items, but Tom reminded him of the no exchanges rule. Hoping to make a deal, Jasmine showed Tom a feather, a length of plaited twine, some stones, her second dagger, and a broken-toothed comb. Lief was about to say that none of the things had any worth, but then Jasmine upturned her bag and revealed all the gold she had taken from Grey Guards. Tom explained that the horses were already paid for, but then showed the companions three-legged animals called Muddlets. He sold them the muddlets with saddles, and warned the companions to take the left path on and upcoming fork in the road.

Millers Rise Broad River sign

The signpost pointed towards Miller's Rise and the River Broad.

Half an hour later, the companions came to the fork Tom had told them about. A signpost stood in the middle, pointing towards Miller's Rise on the left and the River Broad on the right. Despite Tom's warning, the companions took the path on the right, since it led to the City of the Rats. A ways down the path, the three lost control of the Muddlets and were thrown to the ground, knocked unconscious.

Lief, Barda, and Jasmine woke up inside a large meeting hall, surrounded by people wearing black and red bodysuits. One of the red-clad people told Lief that they were in the city of Noradz. He presented himself as Reece, first Ra-Kachar of the Nine that ruled over the city. Reece insisted that the companions stay for the meal his people were about to have. Reluctantly they agreed, but decided they should leave immediately afterwards.

While serving the three, a girl, Tira, accidentally dropped a roll of bread onto the ground. She was seized and ordered to be whipped one hundred times for the crime. Before her punishment could commence, Lief said it was his fault the bread split. Lief suspected correctly that the Ra-Kacharz would not punish him because he was a stranger to the rules, though he was warned not make a mistake again. Shortly after Lief returned to the table, Filli emerged from Jasmine's shirt and sent the people into a panic. The companions were captured while Filli was forced to flee into the city.   

Life death cards

The cards that Reece used to decide the companions' fate.

Back in the meeting hall, Lief was commanded to pick a card labeled either Life or Death out of the sacred Cup to decide their fates. Before he chose, Tira silently warned Lief that Reece had placed two Death cards in the Cup to ensure they died. Using the mind-clearing power of the Topaz, Lief pretended to trip and tossed one card into an open fireplace. Using the card in the Cup to determine Lief's fate, the eight Ra-Kacharz sent the companions to the dungeon.

That night, Tira came to their cell to bring them food and water, which Reece had refused to bring. The companions persuaded Tira release them and show them a way out of the city. She agreed to take them to the Hole, a garbage chute used to throw out food, though only the Ra-Kacharz could enter it and survive. She led them through the kitchens, where the companions saw two Ra-Kacharz selecting a small portion of food to be eaten on the morrow while the majority was to be thrown out. Lief, who grew up in the starved streets of Del, was appalled at the sight of good food being wasted, but Tira insisted that the Ra-Kacharz were protecting the city by disposing of impure foods.

The companions went through the door to a small room: to the left was a red door which led to the sleeping quarters of the Ra-Kacharz, and a metal grille barred the entrance to the Hole. Tira left to gather the companion's weapons, but while she was gone, Reece emerged from the red door. He grabbed Jasmine and whipped at Lief and Barda, driving them towards the edge of the Hole. Fortunately Tira returned and hit him over the head with a frying pan. Lief hurried Tira through the kitchen door and bolted it shut as three Ra-Kacharz emerged to battle the companions. Filli arrived to cause a distraction, and the Ra-Kacharz were defeated.

The companions decided to wear the Ra-Kacharz's garments to avoid suspicion. While stripping them, they realised that each one had the Shadow Lord's brand on the back of their necks. Lief, Barda and Jasmine took Reece with them as a hostage and delved into the Hole. However, Reece was killed by the poisonous red fungi in the tunnel.

They found the three remaining Ra-Kacharz loading the rejected food into a rubbish cart. Lief suggested they hide in the rubbish cart to escape the city, which Barda noted was similar to how Jarred escaped from the palace. To their surprise, the wagon stopped at Tom's shop, where a troupe of Grey Guards were waiting. Lief was furious when Tom arrived and greeted the guards and Ra-Kacharz as if they were old friends. After Tom helped them escape from the guards, Lief accusesd him of being a traitor. Tom replied that at Tom's shop, everyone is treated equally and that he does not concern himself with taking sides. All he cared about were good business.
Water eaters instructions

The instructions for the Water Eaters.

The three left Tom's shop and travelled to the River Broad, but the water was too wide for them to cross. While looking through his backpack, Lief found the object they had purchased from Tom's shop, including the tin of Water Eaters. He threw a pinch of crystals into the water, and they grew into huge, wobbling lumps that spread and formed a wall that held back the water. When they arrived on the plains surrounding the City of the Rats, it was sundown, so they decided to rest for the night. Lief lit a fire with the fire beads while Barda and Jasmine added water to a No Bake, which they roasted over the fire. While eating, Lief caught sight of a mass of rats coming towards them. They ran into the river, but the rats swam after them. They used the fire beads to create a wall of fire along the shore, forcing them to stay in the water until the rats left at dawn. The rats had wrecked all their belongings except the pipe of light and Ra-Kachar clothes. They stripped their wet clothes and put on the red clothes to protect them from the rats.

On their way into the city, Lief wondered how the citizens could have failed to stop the rat plague from growing like it did. Barda blamed the Shadow Lord, but Jasmine argued that the Shadow Lord had only ruled Deltora for sixteen years, so the fault fell on the royal family, just as Thaegan turning D'Or into Lake of Tears a hundred years ago. Lief tried to remind Jasmine that the monarchs had been deceived, but she could not understand how anyone could be so blind and accused the monarchs of hiding from their problems. Because of this, Jasmine questioned if it was best to bring the monarchs back into power. Lief was able to remove her doubt by saying that their quest would free Deltora from tyranny, regardless of how worthy the new monarch would be.

Inside the city walls, Lief used the light pipe to guide the companions through the rat-infested streets. As they neared the centre, Lief heard a voice in his mind that compelled him to the meeting hall. There he met Reeah's, a huge serpent that identified itself as a servant of the Shadow Lord. The crown atop of Reeah's head housed the Opal, and thanks to its abilities to see the future, Reeah knew everything about Lief. It ordered Lief to remove the Belt of Deltora, but Lief resisted thanks to the Topaz, and thanks to the Ruby's power to cure snake venom, Reeah was wary of attacking.

Lief used this time to flatter Reeah while Barda and Jasmine got into position to attack. As Reeah revealed its past, Lief realised that the people of the City of the Rats eventually founded Noradz. However, Reeah quickly grew impatient and attacked Lief, knocking his sword high into the air and Barda unconscious with its tail. Lief threw his jar of fire beads at Reeah, but missed and lit the great hall on fire. Reeah then caught Lief in its jaws and raised him high in the air to swallow him. However, Jasmine had climbed into the rafters and caught Lief's sword which she used to slice Reeah's throat. The fall crushed Lief, but Jasmine revived him using some of the nectar from the Lilies of Life.

As the city was ravaged by the fire, Lief removed the Opal from Reeah's crown. Touching it gave him a vision of himself alone and sinking into a red desert. He was horrified by the vision, though Barda reminded him that the Opal is the symbol of hope, and the three vowed to face the coming dangers together.

The Shifting Sands

The following day after retrieving the Opal, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine found themselves at a man-made canal that was shallow enough for them to cross. Jasmine spotted trees on the other side, and the companions waded their way into the water. Before they had cross, Kree alerted them to an Ak-Baba forcing them to hide in in the canal using Lief's cloak to cover themselves. The wise fish in the river assisted them in hiding by covering them in a school until the Ak-Baba passed, although Lief and Barda were certain they were trying to drown them.

On the other side the companions found themselves in a grove of trees to rest in. When Lief awoke the next day, Jasmine revealed that she and Barda had taken nine apples from a nearby orchard. Though Lief felt uneasy about eating stolen fruit, which also reminded him of his last day in Del, he relented.Unfortunately, they were found by the owner of the orchard, an old woman named Queen Bee. She demanded they return the apples, but the companions had eaten all but three. Furious, Queen Bee unleashed a swarm of bees that she kept under her shawl and ordered them to sting the companions to death. Desperately, Jasmine offered the remainder of their coins as payment for the lost apples. Queen Bee accepted the bag as payment, even though it was more than enough to pay for six apples. She inquired as to where the companions came from, but upon seeing the smoking ruins of the City of the Rats, told them to go and that she never saw them.

Queen bee sign

The sign to Queen Bee's orchard.

Rithmere games poster

Rithmere Games flier.

After leaving the orchard, the companions found a highway with a horse-drawn cart and several people walking beside it. The companions hid behind some trees until the cart had passed by, and learned that the people were heading to the town of Rithmere. They decided to follow the cart, and Lief found a flier on the road advertising the Rithmere Games, which awarded one hundred gold coins to every finalist and one thousand gold coins to the champion. The companions decided to join the Games to make up for the money they lost.

Beat the bird

The wheel used in Beat the Bird.

Shortly after arriving in Rithmere, the companions ran into a man named Ferdinand. He offered to buy Kree from Jasmine to replace the bird needed to operate his game, Beat the Bird, but she refused. Instead, the companions agreed to lend Ferdinand to Kree for thirty spins in exchange for one silver coin.

Many people rushed over to play, and due to the success of the first two customers Lief was tempted to use their coin to play. Barda objected, as it was a game of luck and they could wind up with nothing but a wooden bird. After the thirtieth turn Ferdinand tried to go back on the deal and keep Kree, who retaliated by revealing that Ferdinand was controlling the wheel through the use of a pedal. Ferdinand ran off as the mob changed after him, leaving the coins that had fallen off the table sheet for the crowd. The companions attempted to take some of the coins, but only a wooden bird remained, which Jasmine took for herself.

Champion inn sign

Champion Inn banner.

The three found their way to the Champion Inn, the official Games inn, run by Mother Brightly. She accepted their one silver coin as payment and then asked for their names and town. Thinking on the spot, Barda quickly told Mother Brightly his name was "Berry", and named Jasmine and Lief as "Birdie" and "Twig", from "Bushtown." Mother Brightly wrote everything down in a book, then brought the companions into another room and asked them for their weapons, since it was forbidden to carry arms in the Champion Inn. She then weighed the companions and measured their heights, and wrote all the details down in her book. She asked what their special talents were, and labeled Lief under SPEED, Barda under STRENGTH, and Jasmine under AGILITY, which she labled with green, red, and blue wristbands respectfully. The wristbands showed the companions' fake names, weight and height. Mother Brightly advised them to always wear the bands, since they marked them as official competitors, showed their special talent, and entitled them to food, drink, and entrance to the Rithmere Games.

Mother Brightly then collected the silver coin and gave the companions the key to room 77. She then took the three companions to the dining hall, where Lief recognised Joanna and Orwen, two people they overheard on the road to Rithmere, and the scar-faced man they had encountered in Tom's shop. Before she left, Lief asked Mother Brightly which events he and his friends should compete in. The innkeeper responded that nobody knows who they will fight, but the most entertaining fights are those between competitors of varying strengths. She happily described last year's final fight, where the loser's leg was smashed to pieces and amputated, before trotting out of the room.
Threat note

The note the attacker left in place of the key.

Lief suggested that, given the new dangers, they should leave the games. After eating dinner they tried to escape in the night, but were stopped by a locked door. Orwen confronted them and explained that Games competitors had to compete once they were registered. Seeing no other option, the companions decided to stay the night in their room and find a way out of the competition in the morning. As they walked to their room, the light went out and someone attacked them. Though Jasmine struck their attacker with her second dagger, they vanished and made off with the companions' room key, and left behind a sinister note.

In the morning, Lief, Barda and Jasmine found themselves locked in their room. They hung one of the bedspreads out the window to attract Mother Brightly's attention, and she arrived to unlock the door. In the arena, they found the scar-faced man, identified as Doom, was wearing a cloth around his neck — possibly to cover a wound from Jasmine's dagger.

After the preliminary rounds, the eight remaining finalists were Lief, Barda, Jasmine, Doom, Joanna, Orwen, a woman called Neridah the Swift, and a savage man named Glock. The three companions discuss what they should do if they were forced to fight each other. Lief and Jasmine suggested faking a loss, but Barda said that it would be dishonourable. This is supported by Mother Brightly, who warns everyone at dinner that the bloodthirsty crowd has been known to turn on fighters who did not perform well.

The morning of the semifinals, Lief was paired with Neridah. Her gentle appearance and fear caused Lief to lower his guard and sympathies with her, but when the match began, Neridah used his hesitation to knock him onto his back. Fueled by anger, Lief regained his footing and threw Neridah to the ground. She hit the ground on one arm, and again showed fear, which caused Lief to hesitate. Neridah seized the opportunity to grab Lief's ankle and topple him, winning the match.

In the end, Neridah, Glock, Jasmine, and Doom remained as finalists. Lief and Barda were in recovery during the finals, so they missed Jasmine's victory over Doom. Once recovered, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine were eager to leave Rithmere, but at Mother Brightly's insistence they purchased supplies from her store and ate a meal in the dining hall before leaving. Lief felt as if something was wrong, or someone was spying on them, but could find no explanation for his suspicion. Mother Brightly showed them a secret passageway out of the inn, where they were ambushed and knocked out.

Lief woke bound and gagged in the back of a cart, without any of his possessions save for the Belt of Deltora. Barda and Jasmine were with him, bound and gagged as well. The captors, two Grey Guards, discussed the fate that awaited their prisoners, and Lief realised that the Rithmere Games were part of a Shadow Lord plot to find the best Deltoran fighters and make them fight in the Shadow Arena for entertainment. After several hours of travelling, the Grey Guards made camp for the night and gave Lief, Barda and Jasmine some food and rudimentary shelter from the rain. Lief was surprised to hear the Guards mention they had passed the Shifting Sands an hour before they stopped to rest. Though the Guards fell asleep almost instantly, the cmpanions could do nothing to escape their heavy chains. They had almost given up on escape when Doom arrived and freed them.

Doom freed the companions and brought them to a cave, in which he had already hidden their packs and weapons. Doom told the companions he was the leader of Deltora's resistance, and he had been hearing rumours about a boy, a man, and a wild girl with a black bird undoing the Shadow Lord's evil. He requested that the three of them join the resistance, but the companions unanimously turned him down, since they could not trust him. Hurt by their refusal, Doom left.

Shifting sands sign

The Shifting Sands warning stone.

On foot, the companions reach the walls of the Shifting Sands, where they find a faded warning stone speaking of the dangers within. They passed the stone and journeyed into the sands. Lief recognised the Sands as the place in his vision and began to worry that he would end up alone.

Imprint of medal and coins

The imprints in the sand of the gold coins and champion medal.

Lief heard two voices approaching and hid himself, Barda, and Jasmine underneath his cloak. They watched as their Grey Guard captors searched the sands for them, disturbing a Sand Beast lurking nearby. It killed and ate both guards, scattering their belongings. After the Beast left, the companions searched the Guards' belongings and collected their blisters and clubs. The coins and the Champion medal the Guards carried were nowhere to be found. In their place were circular marks in the sand. Lief kicked the marks away, and the Sand retaliated with a sandstorm. The storm calmed, leaving behind an imprint of Jasmine's dagger. Lief asks Jasmine if she lost it, and she confirms she did. Lief touches the Topaz and his mind clears. He understands that the Sand is alive, and is eager to take the Belt from him.
Imprint of Jasmine's dagger

The imprint in the sand of Jasmine's dagger.

As night fell, Lief suggested that they should use rope to tie themselves together, despite Barda and Jasmine's protests. When they stopped to rest, Barda and Jasmine untied themselves and Jasmine lit a fire. The fire enraged the Sands and it caused another earthquake and sandstorm. The three were scattered in the upheaval. Lief wandered alone for hours, drawn to the Centre, until he fell unconscious from exhaustion. He had a dream that he was back in Del with his friends, who were being stung by swarms of bees. In the dream, Queen Bee warned him to go softly and use smoke, not fire. Lief wakes from his dream when Kree finds him, leading Jasmine and Barda to him. Using blisters, Barda drives off a Sand Beast that had been stalking Lief. Lief explains to Barda and Jasmine the riddle of the Shifting Sands. The Sands themselves were actually the remains of a tiny species of insect collectively known as the Hive. The living drones attack in force if they feel their home is threatened, but will calm down if given tribute, such as weapons and gold. With this knowledge, Lief tells the others to head to the centre of the Sands.

They arrived at the entrance to the Hive, where Lief descended down on a rope armed only with a smoking torch. Inside the Hive he discovered millions of the swarming insects gathered around a massive pyramid of bones and treasures, which Lief assumed was used to guard the queen. The smoke calmed the Hive and prevented the warriors from stinging him as he searched for the fourth gem, the Lapis Lazuli.

With help from the Opal, Lief was able to find the Lapis Lazuli. Finding that the gemstone suported the hive's structure, when he removed it he replaced it with the wooden bird Jasmine had taken from Ferdinand. However, this caused the tower to sway and awoke the Hive. Lief was barely able to escape being swarmed, but he did manage to retrieve Jasmine's dagger. Once outside, Lief added the Lapis Lazuli to the Belt. The Lapis allowed the companions safe passage out of the Sands.

Dread Mountain

On their way to Dread Mountain, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine discovered a hidden spring surrounded by a grove of pale trees. Though the spring had a warning sign that warned against those of evil hearts drinking the water, the companions drank without issue and quickly fell asleep Lief had a lucid dream of his home; it was destroyed and bore the brand of the Shadow Lord on its gate.

Lief was awoken by the sound of something drinking from the spring. Going to investigate, he discovered a young Kin named Prin and befriended her. The two decided to play a game of hide and find, but Prin is captured by two Grey Guards in pursuit of Glock, Neridah and Doom. Barda and Jasmine woke up and tried to leave with Lief, but he convinced them to stay and try to rescue Prin. They were spotted when Lief tried to get Prin out of the bag she was tossed into, but by that point the Guards had drunk water from the spring and, because of their evil will, were transformed into pale trees identical to all others in the grove.

The other Kin were awakened and met Lief and his companions. Lief learned, to his horror, that the Dreaming Spring caused those who drink of its waters to dream of other people and places and see what was actually transpiring, visiting them in spirit form.

Lief briefly became determined to return home, but was convinced by Barda that they had to resume their quest, which prompted them to approach the Kin for aid in reaching Dread Mountain. Three Kin named Merin, Bruna and Ailsa agreed to carry the trio, while Prin, much to her dismay, was forbidden from going. Before departing, Lief drank from the Dreaming Spring and saw his father in prison at the mercy of Fallow, a servant of the Shadow Lord who suspected that Lief was part of a conspiracy against his master. The company soon made its way to Kinrest, where the companions were startled to find the grave of Doom of the Hills, whose name was used by the leader of the Resistance whom they encountered previously, leading them to wonder at his true identity.

The group travelled on to Dread Mountain where, after narrowly avoiding an attack by the Kin's old enemies the Dread Gnomes, they landEd in a heavily forested region and the Kin took their leave of Lief's party. Much to their shock, Prin then arrived and was shot by one of the Dread Gnomes with a poisoned arrow, forcing Jasmine to use the last of the nectar of the Lilies of Life to save her. The group were subsequently attacked by a Vraal, a savage creature from the Shadowlands, but it was driven off by Prin using purple moss that burned those it touched. After discovering a message written in blood, the group came across an abandoned gnome rest before making their way to the gate of the gnome stronghold, where they narrowly avoided falling into a deadly booby trap. Making their way into the Mountain's interior, they were then caught in another trap and found themselves sealed in a tunnel with what appeared to be a mirror.

Using Dreaming Spring water in their water bottles, the companions spied on the Gnomes and made a startling discovery: the Dread Gnomes were slaves to a massive Ooze Toad named Gellick, who not only provided the Gnomes poison for their arrows but also wore the Emerald from the Belt of Deltora in his brow. Having learned that the Dread Gnomes had been spying on them, the companions realised that the mirror in the tunnel was in fact a one-way glass that doubled as a window; breaking it, they escaped only to be trapped by the Gnomes, with Jasmine being shot with a poison arrow. Fortunately, the poison-countering power of the Ruby healed her, and the apparent miracle was enough to convince the weary Dread Gnomes to side with them.

Accompanied by Ri-Nan, Fa-Glin and Gla-Thon, the companions made their way into Gellick's cavern and prepared to use a supply of blisters they had acquired in the Shifting Sands to kill the creature. However, Ri-Nan betrayed them in an effort to advance his own standing only to be killed by Gellick's poison, which proved to be the same substance contained in the blisters; as part of their servitude, the Dread Gnomes had been unknowingly providing it to the Shadow Lord. Forced into hiding, Lief was prepared to die when he was struck by inspiration and hurled his opened water bottle into Gellick's mouth, causing the toad to be transformed into a tree. The Dread Gnomes, now freed, soon heeded Lief's counsel to welcome the returning Kin back with open arms, forming an alliance with their former prey to share the Mountain and deceive the Shadow Lord. Firmly resolved to complete the quest for the sake of his parents and all others harmed by the Shadow Lord's evil, Lief and his comrades pressed on in their journey.

The Maze of the Beast

While on their way to the Maze of the Beast, Lief and his companions ran across a pair of young girls named Marie and Ida who were drowning in a river. They attempted to save the pair only for Ida to be shot with an arrow; Lief attacked her assailant only to be informed by the archer that the girls were Ols. Marie then transformed into a monstrous form and attempted to kill Barda, but the companions were able to destroy her. Jasmine then recognised the archer as Dain, a member of Doom's Resistance, and due to his sustaining injuries at Lief's hands they offered to help him reach the nearest resistance stronghold. Along the way, Dain voiced his belief that the trio were traveling to the city of Tora, and also explained the nature of Ols to the companions.

Dain's injuries eventually rendered him unconscious as the group arrived at the stronghold, where they found a slip of paper and were then challenged by guards who threatened to kill them if they could not provide the password. Having gained insight into the Resistance's methods through a disguised jar of Queen Bee Honey, Lief deciphered the message on the slip of paper as providing the password, which allowed them into the stronghold. Unfortunately, they ran afoul of Barda's old acquaintance Jinks, a former palace acrobat who liked to cause trouble, and their old enemies Glock and Neridah. Doom soon arrived and had the trio imprisoned for three days in the testing room, a chamber designed to allow Resistance members to identify Ols hiding in their midst. However, after the period had passed, Dain covertly released them and asked to join them on their journey to Tora, but was soon informed that it was not their true destination.

The companions decided to bring Dain along anyway, but Jasmine then left the group with Kree and Fili due to her being the most conspicuous member of the party. Lief and the other two travelled on for some time, running into trouble before reaching the village of Where Waters Meet, which had been ransacked by Pirates and abandoned. They then met Steven, son of Queen Bee and a friend to the resistance, and learned from Dain of his monstrous brother Nevets who usually remained within Steven. Eventually the trio booked passage on the River Queen to travel towards the coast and the Maze, and found Jasmine in disguise among the other passengers. The ship was attacked during the night by pirates, and the Belt, which Barda and Lief had disguised inside a leather belt, was stolen along with Lief's other possessions, while Dain was abducted and Barda fell overboard.

Put ashore on the orders of the captain after one of the other passengers was revealed to be an Ol and attacked, Jasmine and Lief were unexpectedly joined by Barda, who apparently survived the River Tor's dangerous leeches. The trio maed their way to the coast and learned that the pirates were on their way to the Maze as well, and later found evidence that indicated that they had secured the gem from the Maze. However, Barda was then revealed to be another Ol when the real Barda returned and killed his imitator, who arranged this scheme to make Lief and Jasmine lose hope; unfortunately, Lief was soon taken captive by the pirates. Held prisoner aboard ship, they were taken to the Maze of Beast and separated from Dain yet again, though fortunately Lief was able to recover the Belt with aid from a Polypan due to having accidentally bought some Polypan gum from Steven. The three were then deposited in the Maze, where they were forced to confront the monstrous Glus; through clever thinking they were able to escape and reclaim Lief's other belongings after several pirates were killed by a blowhole near the Maze.

The Valley of the Lost

Having departed the coast after escaping the Maze of the Beast, Lief and his companions made their way inland up the River Tor, only to find their efforts to cross the river in order to progress towards the Valley of the Lost blocked at every turn. Unexpectedly, they came across the pirates' ship and were reunited with Dain and the polypan, only for the latter to abandon them during a pouring rainstorm after it reached a dock. The following morning they awoke to find that the floods caused by the rain had filled an old lake bed, on the shore of which they found Tora, which they entered only to find it abandoned. They then found the foundation stone at the city's heart cracked, a sign that the Torans broke their ancient vow to the kings of Deltora, and also what prompted their foolhardy act: a letter from King Endon requesting shelter after he fled Del. Unfortunately, the vow itself stated that the Torans would be taken out of their city in the event that they broke it, a warning that they failed to heed.

Dain went into unexpected shock, and the companions realised that Tora was protected by magic that prevented evil passions from existing within the city's walls. Leaving the city, they were surprised by the arrival of Doom and Neridah; after a tense confrontation, they convinced Doom to enter Tora as a sign that they should trust him. Emerging drained of his usual anger and bitterness, Doom was questioned by the companions and admitted that he was an amnesiac, having no memories of his life in Deltora prior to fighting a Vraal in the Shadow Arena of the Shadowlands. As the companions had suspected, he made his way to Dread Mountain pursued by Grey Guards and then to Kinrest, where he was nursed back to health by the true Doom, who subsequently perished at the Guards' hands before Doom killed them, afterwards taking the name of his rescuer. Doom then asked the companions where they were going, and Lief — to his own surprise as much as anyone's — revealed their truth destination, while Doom expressed knowledge of the Diamond from the Belt of Deltora and pleaded with them not to seek it.

Failing to convince them, he offered Dain the chance to rejoin him, which the boy accepted, and also gave Jasmine a hat to conceal her hair and make the group less conspicuous. They were then surprised when Neridah refused to rejoin them, with Doom deducing that she would attempt to travel with Lief's party. As expected she attempted this and eventually won them over, but quickly wore out her welcome, prompting the companions to attempt to lose her by leaving for the Valley while she is asleep. Reaching it, they left Kree and Fili behind due to a toxic mist that filled the Valley, and entered it to find it filled with ghostly people. They then met the ruler of the Valley, a sorcerer known as the Guardian, whose magic bound the companions and Neridah, who was revealed to have followed them.

Leading the group to his palace, the Guardian introduced the group to his pets, monstrous creatures who accompanied him everywhere and who were known by the names Hate, Envy, Pride, and Greed despite no one of them possessing the trait for which they were named. The Guardian then offered the group a chance to play his game: if they won they could claim the Diamond, but if they lost they could join his subjects in the Valley. Neridah quickly refused and departed, and the companions were eventually forced to accept the challenge, which was to discover the Guardian's true name. Lief dissuaded Jasmine and Barda from attempting to take the Diamond by force due to a nagging fear, and — discovering a copy of The Belt of Deltora in the Guardian's library — discovers why when he learned that the Diamond would curse those who obtained it through unjust means. As such, the group w fereorced to play, but through the Guardian's riddles discovered that his name is five letters long; they eventually discovered the letters by solving various puzzles and riddles, and were shocked to discover that the Guardian's name was Endon.

Believing that the former king had been twisted by evil but that Sharn and the heir must have left him when he sold himself to the Shadow Lord, the companions were greeted by their stunned host, only for Lief to realise that the Diamond they had been awarded was not the one from the Belt. The Guardian revealed that Neridah returned and stole it but fell victim to its curse, and soon deduced the true identities of the companions and tried to take the Belt from Lief, only for contact with it to send his pets into a rage. To Lief's horror, the four creatures were revealed to be attached to the Guardian by hideous living cords, which he and Barda then cut to kill the beasts and free the Guardian. He then directed them to Neridah's body and Lief claimed the Diamond, at which point the mists of the Valley departed and the majority of its inhabitants were revealed to be Tora's lost people, brought there after they broke their vow.

Returning to the purified Guardian, the companions learned that he was not Endon but Fardeep, a formerly wealthy man of Rithmere and the owner of the Champion Inn before it was taken over by the Shadow Lord. Having recovered all the gems, the group was now determined to complete their final task: locating the heir to the throne of Deltora.

Return to Del

Lief, Barda and Jasmine hide in the Valley of the Lost with their newfound friends, debating what they should do now that the Belt is complete. They accept the Torans' and Fardeep's offer of help and friendship, and divulge their long-kept secret to them. Soon after, Doom arrives in the Valley with Dain, and the three companions are convinced by Zeean to accept him as an ally in their quest, though they do not trust him. When Lief dreams of Fallow, to give Doom the proof he wants of where the Shadow Lord believes the trio is now, he hears more of his parents' plight and fears for them even more. He also realises that there is a spy among their group, for the Shadow Lord knows who they are. This gives the trio even more reason to distrust Doom and their new allies, and they try to flee the Valley. However, they are caught by Steven and Nevets, and forced to return.

After Dain suggests his idea of uniting the seven tribes once more, Lief becomes heavily involved and enthusiastic about it, and is surprised at the revelation that he, Barda and Jasmine have met members of all seven tribes at points during their quest. To smuggle the trio safely to Withick Mire, Doom suggests placing decoys in the west, near the River Tor, to turn the Shadow Lord's attention there. Lief is horrified by the idea of anyone risking their life because of him, and protests against it, but the Torans support the plan and resolve to take part in it to help atone for their past sin.

Lief, Barda and Jasmine travel hidden in Steven's caravan to Withick Mire. Lief is the first to realise that Steven's seemingly nonsense-sounding song actually carries a hidden message for them. At one point, close to Del, they are stopped by Grey Guards, who want to search the caravan. The trio flee into the forest, across the gripper field, as Steven bids them to do, but however they are caught in the grippers. Barda is severely wounded, but Lief and Jasmine manage to haul him out and escape into the forest, after realising that there are stepping stones hidden in the field. In the forest they find a hut, with the bones of a mother, a baby and a man, and a letter in a box. The letter appears to be Endon's last words. With horror Lief realises that the heir has been dead all along, and the quest lost from the very beginning.

In Withick Mire they show the letter to their allies, whose hopes are crushed by it. To Lief's surprise, Barda declares the letter a forgery, saying that Endon would never have written what is in the letter, as they were not the thoughts that were running in his mind at the time. And in addition, Endon did not have the royal seal with him when he fled, and so could not have been able to stamp it on this final letter. The allies realise that he is right, and regain their hope, seeing that the quest is not lost. They continue to prepare for the meeting of the tribes.

During this time, Barda continues to weaken, and though he improves briefly at one point, it is soon clear that he is dying. Lief is grief-stricken at the knowledge, and finds that he is not ashamed to weep, as he would have been at the beginning of their quest.

During the meeting of the tribes, the ritual takes place at Barda's bedside, at Jasmine's insistence. The Belt's light appears to shine on Dain, revealing him to be the heir. Lief begins to give the Belt to him but hesitates for a moment before doing so, and in that moment of hesitation Dain is abducted by Ichabod. Guilt-stricken, Lief sees Dain's blood-stained dagger on the ground and places on his person. To everyone's astonishment, Barda begins to strengthen and heal suddenly though he is near death, and Lief realises that the Belt is healing him—somehow, the Belt had ended up on Barda's bed during the chaos.

Lief, Barda and Jasmine travel alone to Del with Steven to rescue Dain, as they realise that there is an unknown spy amongst the rest of the allies. They enter the city and attempt to free Dain, who is trapped in the market square, ready to be burnt at the stake. However, as Lief reaches him it is revealed that Dain is the traitor. Dain knocks the Belt from Lief's hands into the fire, and gloats to Lief about his great plan. During this time, Doom sneaks behind Dain and attempts to attack him, but is instead severely injured by Dain and knocked to the ground. Lief grabs the Belt from the flames and places it around Dain's waist, killing him.

The trio and Doom seek refuge in the forge. There Doom begins to recall his lost memories, and Lief realises that he must be Endon, thus making Jasmine the heir. However, when Jasmine puts on the Belt nothing happens, and Lief is left feeling bewildered, for he is certain that Jasmine is the heir. Soon after the forge is raided and Barda, Jasmine and Doom are taken. Lief, who had been in his bedroom at the time, vows to rescue them, and goes to the Place of Punishment, where the people are gathering.

Lief uses the secret tunnel to enter the palace, and then climbs into the open air to a ledge above the Place. Before he jumps down, he realises the final secret of the Belt, and rearranges the gems so that they are in the same order they were in when first fashioned by Adin. Then he jumps down to the Place, ready to give the Belt to Jasmine, and chaos ensues.

In the chaos, Lief tries to make his way toward Jasmine, but is unable to, and in the end is forced to put on the Belt to leap across a large chasm. This reveals him as the true heir to Deltora, and the Shadow Lord is driven away.          

Cavern of The Fear

In the aftermath of the Shadow Lord's exile from Deltora, all is not well — not only are there hundreds of Deltorans missing from the land, but several attempts have been made on Lief's life. In the wake of the latest, in which a Plains Scorpion is secreted in his room, Lief stuns Jasmine by announcing that he and Doom are going to Tora, which she feels is foolish given the dire straits particularly after Barda returns from an abandoned Noradz. Lief, who has been keeping secrets from both Jasmine and Barda, longs to tell them the truth, but is warned by Doom that they must insure Deltora's future before they can reveal the truth. As such, the pair travel to Tora and meet Marilen, a young woman whom Lief asks to return to Del, unaware that some of his covert activities have sparked rumours that he is seeking a bride. Lief is also troubled by a mysterious music, which he begins to suspect is coming from the legendary Pirran Pipe, a magical artifact that was the only force in the land of Pirra-now known as the Shadowlands-capable of resisting the Shadow Lord's power.

Lief learns that the story of the pipe was contained in The Deltora Annals but despairs, having learned that the Annals were thought to be destroyed in the time of his grandfather Alton on the orders of Prandine, his chief advisor and a servant of the Shadow Lord. Learning that the legend may have been contained in the Jalis folk stories known as the Tenna Birdsong Tales, Lief and Doom return to Del with Marilen to seek out Glock, only to learn that the Annals were found by Jasmine. After learning of the tale from Josef, the former palace librarian who saved the Annals, Lief determines that Jasmine and Glock have discovered an apparent route to the Shadowlands. Fearing for their safety, he and Barda-accompanied by an unwilling Jinks-head to the Os-Mine Hills following their trail, and run afoul of a pack of Granous. Jinks escapes and leaves them to their fate, but fortunately distracts the Granous, allowing Lief and Barda to escape and continue to follow Jasmine's trail, which takes them into the den of a sleeping Topaz dragon.

Making their way past the slumbering creature, Lief and Barda make their way deeper into the depths of the hills until they fall into a massive underground cavern containing an ocean. They are then captured by two inhabitants of this underground realm-Goblins according to ancient Deltoran legend-and are taken to their island which is in danger of being flooded. Finding Jasmine and Glock captive, they learn that the inhabitants of the island are at the mercy of a monster known as The Fear which demands sacrifices in exchange for sparing the island and its inhabitants. They persuade the inhabitants to let them face the monster, and during the ensuing dispute Lief learns that the Goblins are in fact a tribe of the Pirrans, who fled their homeland when the Shadow Lord took over. Legend said that they hid on separate islands, each retaining one piece of the separated Pipe, but it was not known by anyone but the ancient explorer Doran the Dragonlover that the islands rested in the caverns beneath Deltora's surface.

The companions soon confront the Fear, which proves to be much larger and more dangerous than they had anticipated. However, after a grueling confrontation, Glock is able to kill it by stabbing it inside its mouth, the one vulnerable part of its body; sadly, he is mortally wounded in the Fear's death throes. He then gives Jasmine his family talisman, and the companions return to Plume Island and ask to borrow the Plumes' piece of the Pirran Pipe, only to learn that it was stolen centuries ago. Fortunately, fate deals the companions a boon, as the contents of Glock's talisman include the long lost mouthpiece of the pipe. The heroes are then granted the mouthpiece, while Glock is laid to rest on the island as a hero.

The Isle of Illusion

Lief and his companions make their way into the Opal oceans beneath the Plains of Deltora, which are being lit at least part of their way by the Plumes, who have warned that the Aurons breed monsters in their seas, such as the Fear. As they journey Lief and Jasmine bicker, and he is troubled by her unexplained hostility towards him, the continued secrecy between him and his friends, and worries of Marilen back in Del. The group then arrive at a small island only to be attacked and captured by monstrous Grubs that begin to trap them in mud structures in order to keep them as a food source. Fortunately, Kree is able to free Jasmine after unleashing Flash as a distraction, and after she frees Lief the pair are able to rescue Barda and escape. The companions continue their journey and note that the light from the cavern walls appears to be dimming, and are then captured by Aurons riding giant eels.

To the companions' surprise, they are taken aboard a massive raft that houses hundreds if not thousands of Aurons, represented as a dotted line on Doran's map. Taken into the home of Penn the history keeper, they have the Aurons' dedication to truth impressed upon them and are then taken to the island of Auron. They discover that the island is surrounded by a magical dome, and that the inhabitants of the rafts were exiled by those who sought to recreate the lost beauty of Pirra in their new underground world. The island Aurons promised that they would continue to light the caverns with their magic, but over time the light has dimmed. Worse, the islander practice of dumping dead bodies and other refuse into the waters surrounding the island has drawn monstrous underground creatures known as Arach, which attack the companions after they make the mistake of letting their boat drift past a warning line planted by the Aurons.

Returning to the rafts, the companions learn that the Aurons' Piper had hoped that the mouthpiece of the Pirran Pipe would allow the companions access to the dome due to its attraction to the stem possessed by the islanders, but he loses hope after learning of Barda and Lief's poor swimming ability and Jasmine's complete inability to swim. However, Jasmine's aggressive explanation of why she lacks this skill inspires Lief, who realises that they must rely upon the skills they do have. As such, they rely on Jasmine's climbing agility to reach a high point above the dome and then swing over to it using a rope, and are drawn in as the Piper hoped. Inside, they find an illusory recreation of Pirra ruled over by a Piper named Auris, which disappears when Jasmine angrily refutes his claims that they are in Pirra rather than on an island. The dome cracks but does not collapse fully, revealing Auris as the last islander left alive, and as the outside caverns are lit by the escaping magic the Arachs flee inside the dome for refuge.

Realising that they cannot fight the monstrous beasts, Lief suggests that they hide beneath his cloak and questions whether Jasmine has forgotten their previous adventures, to which she responds that she has not but thought that he had. Troubled again by her antagonism, he attempts to convince Auris to join them in safety, but he refuses to leave the statue of Auron at the centre of the island. Unable to move him, Lief joins his companions, and they watch as the Arachs kill Auris, which destroys the statue and brings the dome down, driving the Arachs back into the dark caverns from which they came. Returning to the rafts, they learn that the Piper intended this all along and forced Penn to deceive them by not telling them the whole truth. Lief accuses the Piper of using them, only to have Jasmine suggest that he would have acted similarly on behalf of Deltora, leaving him wondering if she has guessed at the secrets he has been keeping.

The Piper then provides the companions with the stem of the Pipe as promised, who set their sights on the island of Keras and then the Shadowlands.

The Shadowlands

After parting ways from the Aurons, the companions enter the Forbidden Way, a pitch black tunnel leading to Keras that is inhabited by dangerous leeches. Fortunately, they survive and arrive on Keras, where they learn that the Kerons are distant kindred of theirs through the Deltorans Alyss and Rosnan, who discovered the underworld centuries ago as described in The Girl With the Golden Hair. Tirral, the Piper, agrees to provide the group with the final piece of the Pirran Pipe, which is then played by Tirral, producing music that fills the underworld. Much to Jasmine and Barda's dismay, Tirral demands that they leave the Belt of Deltora with her in exchange for the Pipe, which Lief surprises them by agreeing to as he is determined to complete the quest. After hearing that none of them are capable of playing the pipe, however, Tirral attempts to deny their request, but is thwarted when her son Emlis offers to accompany them due to his playing ability.

Reluctantly, the Kerons transport Emlis and the others to the surface in the Shadowlands, where they soon find themselves menaced by monstrous creatures and by a palpable sense of despair that is only countered by contact with the Pirran Pipe. They are then found by a group of Resistance fighters: Claw, Brianne of Lees, and Gers, the brother of their fallen comrade Glock. Gers is soon convinced of their truthfulness after Jasmine gives him the family talisman and recounts the exact words used in passing ownership of it. The group then travel through a tunnel to meet up with another Resistance cell, only to find their hideout empty and showing clear signs of having been discovered by Grey Guards. After discussing the matter, the group decides to head to the Factory, the most likely place to which the fighters have been taken and a site close to the Shadow Arena, where many of the Deltoran prisoners have been taken.

During the journey, Lief's party becomes separated from the Resistance members and make their way into the Factory, where they discover the truth behind the limited lifespan of the Grey Guards and learn that their old friend Tira has been corrupted by the Shadow Lord's evil. They soon learn that the mysterious Conversion Project is responsible, before traveling with the captive Dread Gnome Pi-Ban to the Shadow Arena. They are then briefly reunited with Claw's group and advise them to spread word to the prisoners to be prepared to escape, before being unexpectedly captured by the Grey Guards and losing Emlis in the process. On a platform in the Shadow Arena, Lief and his friends see Hellena, a former Resistance member who has been corrupted like Tira, and Faith, a girl who appears to be Jasmine's sister. Lief then learns that the Conversion Project will be used on the other prisoners as well, turning them into servants of the Shadow Lord who will invade their homeland.

During the ensuing confrontation, the companions learn that Faith is a phantom conjured by the Shadow Lord to lure Jasmine to the Shadowlands, with Jasmine in turn being bait for Lief. Lief is able to play notes on the Pirran Pipe that destroy the Conversion Project and hold the Shadow Lord temporarily at by, but only when Emlis is found and plays the Pipe is the Shadow Lord driven back. The Deltorans and Emlis are then transported to the underworld, where it is revealed that Emlis' song was heard by the Pirrans, who have put aside their old feud and work together to rescue the Deltorans. As the Pirrans help the Deltorans travel to where they can be sent up to Del, they learn that those who leave the underworld forget their experiences there unless they have Soul-stones, which the three companions are then given. Tirral returns the Belt to Lief, and the Pirrans reveal their plans to keep the Pipe whole and share it in the future.

After being transported to Del, Lief is greeted by Marilen, and Barda and Jasmine are stunned when he drops the Belt he is wearing and Marilen is revealed to be wearing the true Belt. Lief reveals that Marilen is his distant cousin and-until Lief has a child of his own-his heir to the throne of Deltora. As a result of research by the Torans, other descendants of Adin have been discovered, thus insuring that Lief's death will not leave Deltora without a ruler. Lief is then stunned to learn that many thought Marilen was to be his bride, but assures Jasmine that he intends to marry for love when the time is right, the two holding hands as they join the celebrating crowd.

Dragon's Nest

In the months after the freeing of the slaves, Lief, Barda and Jasmine were tormented by the voice from the Shadow Lord's crystal while also dealing with the famine plaguing Deltora. Having failed repeatedly to destroy the crystal, Lief resorted to locking it away, but continued to be plagued by the Shadow Lord's voice. However, during one city meeting, Lief encountered Josef, who expressed thoughts that Deltora's sad state was connected to the fall of the Dragons, a fear derived from the writings of Doran the Dragonlover, and who also unexpectedly inspired Lief with a means to destroy the crystal. After conducting the meeting and revealing the nature of the crystal to the people, Lief asked them to think of him during that night, which was the night of the full moon. Aided by their strength, that of Deltorans from the spirit world, and his friends and Doom, Lief finally succeeded in smashing the crystal.

As the crystal died, it began to repeat conversations between the Shadow Lord and his minions of old, which revealed the cause behind Deltora's barren state: a work of evil known as the Four Sisters, inspired by one of the Tenna Birdsong Tales. Discovering a fragment of a map made by Doran the Dragonlover, who interfered in the Shadow Lord's efforts, the companions set out for the mysterious Dragon's Nest to destroy the Sister of the East. However, they first took their course to the Os-Mine Hills in order to awaken the Topaz dragon they had found sleeping there, having learned that the Belt of Deltora and the power of the dragons was the only thing that could destroy the vile creations of the Shadow Lord. After parting ways from their escort, the trio discovered a group of Granous menacing a strange creature: a Capricon by the name of Rolf. While attempting to save him, Lief was captured by the Granous, but his silent pleas interacted with the Belt of Deltora to awaken the dragon, who saved him.

Learning that Doran had sworn the last seven dragons to sleep and await the coming of a king wearing the Belt of Deltora and that they would not invade each other's territories while they slept. As such, the companions are forced to seek out the last surviving Ruby dragon, which leads their party to the Forests of Silence. After detecting an attempt to kill them by some unknown party, Lief and his two closest companions leave their escort and travel into the Forests, leaving Rolf in the charge of their guards under Brid. In the Forests they fall victim to the fruit of the Sleeper Tree, with only Lief remaining awake due to accidentally eating part of the skin, and are nearly killed by an Orchard Keeper before being saved by Lindal of Broome. Sadly, Lindal soon informs them of tragic news: their escort has been murdered, and the reports of the incident seem to indicate that the Dragon of the Ruby is responsible.

The group travel to Broome on their way to Dragon's Nest, and Lief sees a vision of the lost Capricon city of Capra, which was destroyed by Ruby dragons in ancient times. Reaching Dragon's Nest, the companions find Rolf alive in the pit, but find him ungrateful and insulting towards Lindal upon his retrieval, at which point he departs. A monstrous beast in the form of a dragon then attacks them but is soon attacked and mortally wounded by the true Ruby dragon; the copy is then revealed to be Rolf, who is a sorcerer in alliance with the Shadow Lord. Lief then joins forces with the true Ruby dragon to destroy the Sister of the East, though he passes out as a result. After he awakens, he learns that his companions have found the second piece of Doran's map, and that-after they have visited Broome-their path will take them next to the mountains of northern Deltora and Shadowgate.

Shadowgate

After spending some time in Broome, Lief receives a message from Doom warning him that rumours have reached him of opposition to their quest, and with help from Lindal he and his companions depart the city in disguise. Surprisingly, the Ruby dragon appears and offers to carry them as close to their destination as she can without breaking her oath not to cross into the territory of other dragons. The trio are set down in a field where they are then surprised by Otto, a man who appears to have the head of a wild boar but is then attacked and killed by a mysterious phantom. They are then found by Otto's people, the Masked Ones, who suspect the trio of murdering their comrade until his body is examined and no marks can be found. Much to Lief's dismay, their leader Bess notes a similarity between him and her lost son Bede, and the trio are forced to remain with the troop.

As they make their way northwest, Lief learns that Bede left the troop after falling in love with Mariette, a girl from Shadowgate whose sister Kirsten had been among those Bede had charmed with his singing voice. Eventually the time comes for the trio to part ways from the company, but Bess develops a fixation on Lief and asks him to wear Bede's mask of adulthood, which he abandoned, and attempts to poison Barda. Barda is saved and Bess dies of her own devices due to Kree's intervention, and the trio and the adopted members of the Masked Ones learn a disturbing truth: the masks of the members of the inner circle are permanent parts of them, having become fused to their faces. Lief nearly shares a similar fate, but is saved by Jasmine while Barda pursues the fleeing Mask Ones; the next morning he is brought back by Steven after being found knocked out, and Lief learns that the Belt of Deltora has been stolen form him.

Identifying the thief as a mischievous Masked One youth named Zerry and determining that he is in league with the malicious Laughing Jack, who is a minion of the Shadow Lord, the friends trail him to The Funnel, where they are able to recover the Belt but lose Jack in the ensuing confrontation. The Funnel proves to be the hiding place of the Lapis Lazuli dragon, who proves willing to enter the Emerald territory to help the companions in their quest. However, shortly after arriving, the dragon is driven off by the last Emerald dragon, leaving the companions bereft of both. The group then realise that Lief has been hearing musical notes spelling out Bede's name for some time, and deduce that he must be the creator of the phantom that appeared a second time while they were with the Masked Ones. Finding a monstrous castle near the village of Shadowgate, they are surprised to find Kirsten tending it in apparent servitude to Bede.

It is not long before Lief realises the truth: Kirsten is the Guardian of the Sister of the North and forces Bede to sing for her by holding her sister Mariette as a hostage in Mariette's own enchanted locket, which Lief steals from her. The companions free Bede and attempt to reach the sister, but in the process Mariette assumes her monstrous form of the Masked One and uses her magic to apparently kill everyone but Lief and Fili. Lief finds the Sister in a pit full of snakes who are driven from him by the magic of the Ruby, and Kirsten is then killed by the creatures as they attack her in an insane rush to escape. The Emerald dragon returns, and together she and Lief destroy the Sister, at which point Lief falls unconscious. He awakens to find his companions, Bede, and Mariette all save and well, and they then find another piece of Doran's map in Mariette's locket indicating that the Sister of the West is located on the Isle of the Dead.

Isle of the Dead

After departing Shadowgate, Lief and his friends are stunned when three Kin-Bruna, Ailsa, and the now full-grown Prin-arrive to carry them to Dread Mountain, from which they travel to the south after receiving supplies and a bag of gold from their friends the Dread Gnomes. On their way they are pursued into the Amethyst territory by the Emerald dragon and forced to land, and after a tense confrontation Lief persuades the angry creature to allow them to continue on their quest. The group then discover that they have been forced down near Bone Point and its lighthouse, which was built in the time of Adin to guide ships from other lands to safe harbour in Deltora but which has been dark since the disappearance of its last known keeper, Red Han. Lief reveals that strange visions have been seen by those who have visited it since, which is confirmed when Barda is the only one to spot a young girl, apparently a shade of Red Han's lost daughter Verity. Entering the lighthouse, the group see more visions of the past, and learn that Red Han long ago ran afoul of their old foe Laughing Jack, who attempted to force him to put out the light at Bone Point as payment of his debt.

When Red Han refused, Laughing Jack-then known as Captain James Gant of The Lady Luck-kidnapped Verity and took her aboard his ship. With the vision ended, the companions make their way higher up so that the Kin can launch themselves and fly, only to stir the magical defences of the lighthouse. A storm produced by the Shadow Lord then forces the group out to sea, and Lief-in danger of dying due to the taboo against the gems of the Belt being taken beyond Deltora's borders-throws himself from Prin's pouch into the sea and is followed by Barda while Jasmine and the Kin are blown away. The two friends unexpectedly end up aboard The Lady Luck, which now drifts abandoned in a strange mist, and discover to their horror that it is rowed by the decaying forms of its former crew. With little alternative, the pair enter the ship's game room and Lief borrows a coin to take part in a game, winning two coins and returning one to the lending chest.

The two come across a magical painting produced by Verity, who discovered magical gifts on the day of her kidnapping, and after discovering several errors in need of correction are shown more visions of the past. They learn that Verity was held captive by Laughing Jack, only to be aided by nearby animals up until the day that the Belt of Deltora was broken and its gems scattered. Laughing Jack urged his crew to row so they could travel away from Bone Point, vowing to share his treasure with them and to take his own seat at the oars in the event he took a single coin for himself. The crew then agrees despite Verity's warnings that their words and those of their captain will bind them and end up chained in the galley, and Laughing Jack stabs Verity only to be caught in a storm and only saved by the Shadow Lord's intervention. Having learned that Jack's fiendish game requires them to pay back three coins for every one that they borrow, the pair seem doomed but are saved by Verity, who used her powers to make a way for anyone caught aboard the ship later to escape.

Getting lose and making their way to shore, the pair find themselves in the Dreaming Dunes where they encounter the Amethyst dragon, who believes that he is dying due to being awakened by the Amethyst only for Lief to be taken out to sea, leaving the dragon without additional strength. However, Jasmine soon arrives with Marilen, Ranesh, Manus, and a group of Torans led by Zeean, having learned of Lief's whereabouts through Jasmine's use of water from the Dreaming Spring. The Torans then free the dragon from the dune under which it was buried, and Lief and Barda learned that they were trapped aboard The Lady Luck for days from everyone else's perspective. The companions then receive notes from Doom and Josef, the latter expressing fears of some discovery he will not name, and another unexpected note from Tom, who believes that they will soon run across his sister Ava. Before they part ways from their friends, the Amethyst dragon offers his services in the event that the Diamond dragon cannot help them, and tells Lief his true name: Veritas.

Unexpectedly, the trio find Ava's shop as they are making their way to the Isle of the Dead, and Lief soon realises something he had unconsciously deduced: Tom and Ava are not only siblings to each other, but also Laughing Jack. Ava provides the group with a boat that capsises halfway to an island connected to the Isle of the Dead by a bridge, and the companions narrowly survive an encounter with the Blood Lilies and Fleshbanes. Thanks to Tom's firebeads they are able to survive, but also come across the stripped skeleton of the last Diamond dragon; unexpectedly, they also find an egg that is stirred to hatch by the Belt after Lief calls to Veritas for help. Traveling to the Isle of the Dead, they find another cursed stone and then discover that what they had previously taken for a large mass of seaweed is actually a monstrous creature known as a Kobb, which attacks them due to considering the island its territory. Veritas arrives in time to save them but is outmatched due to his continued weakness, and the companions and the dragon make their way into a cave containing the Sister of the West.

To their horror, the group discover that the Sister is contained in the ancient and decrepit body of Doran the Dragonlover, who was punished by the Shadow Lord for his interference in the scheme of the Four Sisters. After he is shown the baby Diamond dragon, Doran's last breath is drawn from his body by Veritas, who then draws the power of the Amethyst through Lief to destroy the Sister, after which they recover Doran's surviving possessions. The companions then fly back to the mainland to find Ava apparently about to flee, only to discover that it had been a disguised Jack whom they spoke to and who had attempted to kill them. Holding Jasmine hostage, he first tries to force Lief to hand over the Belt to him and then to allow him to escape, but then seizes the bag of gold they received from the Dread Gnomes. Unbeknownst to him, it contained the gold coin Lief brought from The Lady Luck, and Jack is transported to his old ship which has been trailing the companions. The Lady Luck then sinks with Jack aboard, the villain finally receiving the reward for his evil deeds while Verity is finally left at peace.

Jack's horses unexpectedly prove to be Honey, Bella, and Swift, the companions' three horses whom they lost during the journey to Dragon's Nest, and a transformed Red Han, cursed by Jack for defying his will. He is soon treated to a well-deserved rest along with Ava, who had been taken prisoner by Jack prior to his impersonation of her. To their shock, the companions then find the final piece of the map to the Four Sisters in a flask belonging to Doran, which reveals that the Sister is hidden in Del. However, Veritas helps them realise the need to act in wisdom, and the companions make plans to rest and recover before setting out to complete their quest.

The Sister of the South

After holding a funeral for Doran the Dragonlover-during which Lief touches Doran's Soul-stone and hears a chain of words including the name of Veritas-the companions make their way back to Del in search of the Sister of the South. Upon arriving they find Del in the midst of an apparent plague and are attacked by a monstrous creature made of creeping black ooze, the apparent guardian of the sister. The Topaz dragon arrives to save him from it but is mistaken for attacking the palace and driven off by Lindal and others. Lief finds his mother in the grip of the plague, but eventually determines that those affected have in fact been poisoned. Worse yet, the Guardian is taking advantage of Sharn's recent return from Tora to blame them for the apparent plague in an effort to destroy trust between Del and Tora and especially make the people lose faith in Marilen, who will become queen in the event that Lief is killed.

Lief has word sent to Dread Mountain to have gems brought that can be used to test for poison and cure it in place of the Belt of Deltora's gemstones, and sets out to find the Sister of the South. More deaths and signs of illness cause Lief to believe that there is in fact a plague, which racks him with guilt over his decision to have his friends and loved ones remove protected masks. After Josef dies, Lief finds Ranesh mourning him in the castle chapel and sends him to warn others and bring Marilen to Del. With the aid of Manus, who interrupts him in the midst of crippling despair, Lief discovers that the Sister is hidden beneath the chapel, and Barda and Jasmine soon arrive to help him unearth it. The Guardian soon arrives to defend it, and the Sister — which is shaped in mockery of the Belt's gems-briefly holds Lief enthralled until Jasmine's panicked cries bring him to his senses.

The Topaz dragon arrives to help destroy the Sister, with Lief distracting the Guardian after he realises that it is responsible for the unexplained deaths. Lindal attacks the dragon again in fear it is trying to destroy the castle, while the Sister's evil begins to affect all present and Barda is left blinded. Steven and Nevets then join the injured dragon in fighting the guardian, while Jasmine comes to Lief's side and informs him that he was right about the nonexistent plague. Refusing to leave him, she accompanies him to the side of the Topaz dragon, who gains strength as the Sister mysteriously loses power and leaves its Guardian vulnerable as well. The dragon then destroys the Sister, leaving the inhabitants of Del to rejoice. Lief restores Barda's sight with the power of the Opal, which shows him a vision of what appears to be the Shadowlands.

Lief then confronts the conjurer of the Guardian: Josef's assistant Paff, who had been a prisoner of the Shadow Lord and made a bargain with him in her emptiness. After confessing her role in events, she seizes the Belt of Deltora in an act of suicide, leaving Lief to rejoin his companions. Having been working at solving a puzzle box obtained from the Granous in Dragon's Nest throughout their journey to find the dragons, Barda finally solves it only for it to turn out to be a trick. Sensing a disturbing parallel, Lief reads The Tale of the Four Sisters and realises the Shadow Lord's final trick: in destroying the final Sister they have unleashed an even greater menace upon Deltora. Having determined that the evil will emerge from the ruins of Hira, better known as the City of the Rats, Lief and his closest companions embark for the city on the back of the Topaz dragon while others follow in Steven's caravan.

The companions arrive to find a monstrous grey substance emerging from Hira's ruins that covers and kills everything in its path, and Lief realises that his vision of the ruined land from before was of Deltora. They are then attacked by the enraged Opal dragon for invading its territory, but it soon sets its sights on attacking the substance. The Ak-Baba then arrive to attack the pair of dragons, and the Topaz dragon is convinced to fight alongside the Opal dragon with Lief, Barda, and Jasmine on its back. As the confrontation turns desperate, Lief calls out to Veritas using the belt, and then realises that the words from Doran's soul-stone are names. He thus calls out to all seven dragons: Fidelis the Topaz Dragon, Hopian the Opal dragon, Joyeu the Ruby dragon, Fortuna the Lapis lazuli dragon, Honora the Emerald dragon, Veritas, and Forta the Diamond dragon.

With all but three of the Ak-Baba killed and those three driven back to the Shadowlands, the seven dragons combine their powers to destroy the Shadow Lord's poisonous tide as onlookers from all seven tribes are present; this event will go on to be commemorated across Deltora as Dragon Night. The dragons then confront Lief over his use of their names, but accept the need and note that, knowing each other's true names due to all being called at one, each dragon now has a measure of power over the others. Fidelis, Joyeu, and Fortuna then fly the companions and their friends back to Del, where Joyeu reveals that, contrary to legend, the Ruby dragons previously destroyed the city of Capra due to their young being slaughtered by the Capricons for the sake of decorating the city. The following spring, Lief and Jasmine are married in a ceremony at which all their surviving friends, acquaintances, and allies from their various adventures — with the obvious exception of the Pirrans — are present. They go on to have three children — a daughter Anna and twin sons Jarred and Endon-and to rule Deltora in wisdom, constantly vigilant against the undying threat of the Shadow Lord.

Finding Secrets of Deltora

Star of Deltora

Sometime during his reign, Lief established the palace of Del as a safe place to house people severely impacted by the Shadowlands invasion. He personally invited Sheevers to live in the safety of the palace, but his offer was turned down.[3]

Lief and Jasmine were present at the ceremony honouring Dare Larsett after Larsett's name was cleared. Lief spoke to Sheevers once more and told him he could remain in his hovel on the streets of Del and collect lanterns, but he would be provided with food and clothing from the palace in Larsett's name.[4]

Physical appearance

In the book series, Lief is implied to be relatively tall (he has to look down at Jasmine to speak to her, but is not as tall as Barda), lean, and athletic. He has short, dark brown hair and looks very much like his father. The only common attire described that he wears is some form of jacket, shirt, boots and his ever-present cloak. In Shadowgate he dons the long, oily outfit of a fisherman of Broome for a while as a disguise. After his encounter with the Masked Ones, his face and neck are left scarred after Jasmine pulled off his mask, which was beginning to bond with his skin.

In the anime, Lief is depicted with blond hair and blue eyes. He dresses in a light bluish-green jacket, which somewhat resembles a tunic, over a black jumpsuit and wears white gloves and boots. He wears his cloak, which is a dark blue colour over his shoulders.

Personality

Lief1

Lief

Lief has been described by Rodda as being "a pretty cocky street kid. Good-hearted but not necessarily particularly obedient."[5]

Lief was once arrogant and careless, however, his various quests have mellowed him into a more careful person. However Barda continually refers to him as being 'hot-headed', which reveals his energetic and action-oriented nature, as well as the tendency to act on whims at times. He is proud and does not take well to learning that Barda was the reason for many of his lucky life-threatening escapes in the past. He is also initially prone to some other childish tendencies, such as feeling jealous when Dain showed admiration towards Jasmine.

Despite all this, Lief is compassionate, kind and good-natured. He is still heavily controlled by sentiment, and lets his heart rule his head on many occasions. This is seen in his initial meeting with Jasmine, in which he struggles with the overwhelming perception that she is ruthless and cruel and the fact that the Grey Guards took her parents away when she was a child, forcing her to adopt drastic measures to survive. Later, when he hears of the powers of the Pirran Pipe, this sentiment makes him pursue Jasmine into the underground sea, regardless of there being 'pipe or no pipe' to be found there. Doom admits that this quality is what makes Lief a better king than he himself would have been.

Being raised amongst the citizens of Del in ignorance of his true status, Lief is able to feel extraordinary empathy with his subjects, and is more concerned about their health and safety as a result. The residents of Del perceive him as being a generous saviour, and would willingly give him their lives.

Abilities

Lief's main ability is his speed. Before going out to collect the gems of Deltora, Lief would dart around the alleyways of Del to avoid being captured and killed by the Grey Guards. Even without Barda's help, Lief was said to be able to escape from approaching Guards numerous times. In the Rithmere Games, Barda said Lief should be in the Speed category. Seeing as Lief was able to make it into the finals of the tournament, it shows that Lief is faster than many others.

Aside from his physical abilities, Lief has also shown to be good at math, for his mother required him to study the subject. He's also quite crafty and is able to create numerous plans that often help the heroes escape from dangerous foes or defeat them.

However, he has several areas where he is not as adept. One being agility, whenever being forced to climb trees after Jasmine or thinking about the games he played with his friends in Del, he would often stumble or be extremely slow compared to the others. He also has trouble keeping a cool head. He is often bickering with Jasmine about some little thing and is quite rash, throwing himself into the face of danger to protect those he loves. Except for when he is told specifically not to try and do anything, then he can keep himself still.

Possessions

Lief has carried numerous items with him on his journey. However, there are only a few recurring items. Those would be his sword, forged specially by his father, a magical cloak that blends in with its surroundings, sewn by his mother, and the Belt of Deltora. All of these he has used frequently on his journeys.

Lief3

Lief.

However, due to the fact that the series has very little fight sequences, Lief's sword is hardly ever used in combat. It is often used to slash away small creatures such as the ones on the edge of the Lake of Tears and the beetles of the Shadowlands. However, he has used it against The Fear in its titular book.

His cloak is often used when the group needs to hide from Ak-Baba or other dangerous foes that can not be fought in a normal manner. The first use of the cloak is in the Forests of Silence, where the three use it initially to try and keep warm while in the tree to hide from the Wennbar.

The Belt of Deltora has been used many times throughout the series that it would be quite difficult to record all uses of its magical properties.

Relationships

Main article: Lief's relationships

Relatives

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Alton
   
   
Unknown
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Anna
   
   
Jarred
   
   
Sharn
   
   
Endon
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Jasmine
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Lief
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Anna II
   
   
Endon II
   
   
Jarred II
   
   
   
   
   
   

Appearances

Trivia

  • In the end of The Sister of the South, Lief and Jasmine get married.
  • Lief could be named after Leif Erikson, a famous Viking and explorer.
  • The name Leif (see Leif Erikson above) is derived from the Old Norse name Leifr (nominative case), meaning "heir" or "descendant".
  • Because Lief is a direct descendant of Adin, who was also a descendant of Opal the Dreamer, Lief has Plains blood. He also has Toran blood, considering his mother Sharn is Toran.
  • Lief is right-handed.[6]
Preceded by
Endon
Monarch of Deltora Succeeded by
TBA

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. 2000.
  2. Rodda, Emily. The Lake of Tears. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
  3. Rodda, Emily. Shadows of the Master. Omnibus Books. 2015.
  4. Rodda, Emily. The Hungry Isle. Omnibus Books. 2016.
  5. Emily Rodda interview with the Sydney Writers' Centre.
  6. Rodda, Emily. Cavern of The Fear. Scholastic Australia. 2002.

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